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University of Minnesota Extension

Extension > Youth Development > Minnesota 4-H > Projects > Animal science > Horse


Learn about show, trail, or endurance riding; test your horse sense at quiz bowls or on judging teams or study horse science. The horse training project is designed to help the advanced rider train an untrained horse through a five-step process. You may have more than one horse in this project. Your horse may be leased or owned. If you don't have access to a horse, you may enroll in the horseless horse project.

Youth showing horse to kid

State & regional events

To view county or local club events, visit the county website.

View all 4-H Events

MQHA Boot Camp

MQHA's popular Boot Camp - three intense days of knowledge for 4-H'ers

  • June 12-14, 2018 - R & J Arena, Verndale

Central Area 4-H Horse Camp

Increase your horsemanship skills by attending Central Area 4-H Horse Camp! Classes are offered for both 4-H youth and adults on a variety of topics.

  • June 7-10, 2018 - Camp Shamineau, Motley

County horse PDC updates

Stay up to date on issues, changes and clarifications in the horse project. The county horse PDC's can learn and take information back to their counties to support the local horse programs.

March 21, 2017
Webinar recorded session (yearly update)

March 22, 2016
Webinar recorded session (yearly update)

Frequently asked questions from Horse update webinar

Dan Patch and Youth Leadership Award

The Dan Patch and Youth Leadership Award is based on the individual's overall achievement, leadership, and service. The Dan Patch award focuses on youth in 10th through one year past 12th grade at the start of the contest year, with the Youth Leadership award intended for youth in 6th through 9th grade at the same time.

Expo Tack Sale

The tack sale is held annually at Minnesota's Horse Expo in St. Paul at the state fairgrounds. The sale is staffed by Minnesota 4-H Horse project members and volunteers and is this group's major fund raising event.

  • April 27-29, 2018 - Minnesota State Fairgrounds

Horse Judges Certification

4-H horse judges seminar for new people to become certified or re-certified as a 4-H horse judge. Certified 4-H horse judges must attend a Minnesota 4-H horse judges seminar once every three years to be recertified and remain on the current 4-H horse judges list that comes out every September.

  • April 6-7, 2018

Minnesota 4-H State Horse Show

The Minnesota 4-H State Horse Show is an annual event held each September after the Minnesota State Fair. Preparation and participation in this show provides life skills and learning experiences for 4-H Horse Project members, their families and leaders.

  • September 14-17, 2018 - Minnesota State Fairgrounds

Regional Horse Meetings

Minnesota 4-H regional horse meetings are designed to provide educational opportunities to 4-H'ers and adult volunteers. It also serves as a venue to discuss best practices between counties by allowing counties to discuss their programs and find new and better ways of doing things. The meetings serve to provide a communication tool to inform 4-H members and leaders as a way to learn new changes and policies and to have an avenue to provide feedback to the State Horse PDC through their regional representatives.

  • April 2018

Western Heritage

Minnesota 4-H Western Heritage is not a project, but an activity to help youth explore and preserve Western Heritage. As you move through the program, you will explore our Western Heritage and develop an appreciation for it; learn to balance competition and education; learn safety skills; develop tools of sportsmanship and realistic goal setting; and have fun.

  • August 13, 2018 - State Competition - 10 a.m., Morrison County Fairgrounds, Little Falls

Winter Roundup

Exciting three day, two night conference focused on developing youth and adult leadership in the 4-H Horse Project. The conference is packed with speakers and educational workshops.

  • January 2019


County All Star Awards/Friend of 4-H

Counties can select and nominate an outstanding adult volunteer that supports their county horse program in a manner that exemplifies leadership and development of the county horse program.

Drill Team

Drill team provides the opportunity for a group of horse and riders to develop drill team skills and perform in freestyle, freestyle 5 riders and under, quad or compulsory.

Horse Bonus Trip Information

Horse Bonus Trips offer counties a chance at earning an additional trips to the Minnesota State Horse Show if they demonstrate excellence in educational programming or quality animals demonstrated. Applications are evaluated and top counties earn an additional state horse show trip.

Horse Educational Grant Program

To provide counties with funds and incentives to plan and conduct Minnesota 4-H Horse Program educational activities. If counties agree to meet the requirements outlined, they can apply for the Minnesota 4-H Horse Project for grant money to help cover activity expenses.

Horse Training

Are you ready for the challenge? The Horse Training Program challenges you to train your untrained horse, following a six-step process.

Horseless Horse/Horse Related

Horseless horse offers the opportunity to study and learn about a horse if you do not own, lease, or have regular access to care for a live horse. Horse Related offers the opportunity to study and learn about different facets of the horse project if you own a horse. (You do not need to show a horse to be in the horse related project).

Miniature Horses

Miniature horses provide an opportunity to those 4-H’ers who are enrolled in the horse project to expand their knowledge and skills with miniature horses.

National Trip Opportunities

Winning Project Bowl teams, Hippology teams, Judging teams, and Speech and Demonstration winners can compete in their category at a national level earning trips to either Eastern National 4-H Roundup in Louisville, Kentucky; Black Hills Stock Show in Rapid City, South Dakota or Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio


Hippology Contest

Hippology is an activity that can make learning fun for 4-H members by letting them exhibit their knowledge and understanding of equine science and husbandry in a friendly but competitive setting.

Horse Judging Contest

Horse Judging helps you learn to carefully study a horse, measuring it against an accepted ideal. Horse judging is an art in which a knowledgeable person expresses her opinion of a class of animals by placing them in ranking order.

4-H Regional & State Project Bowls

The second most attended event during the 4-H year is the Project Bowl competition. Patterned after the golden-oldie television show "College Bowl", it challenges teams of 3-6 youth on their knowledge of 4-H project areas: Dairy, Dog, General Livestock, Horse, Poultry, Rabbit, Wildlife and this year in Lama too.

Speech & Demonstration Contest

Allows a youth to create a speech or demonstration to share their knowledge of horses in a manner that is creative and expresses their ability to convey a message to an audience.

Win A Paint Horse Essay Contest

Would you like to win a Paint Horse? Enter your essay in the annual "Win A Paint" competition. Open to all Minnesota 4-H members actively involved in the 4-H horse project.

Why I Want An Arabian Horse Essay Contest

Would you like to win a Arabian Horse? Enter your essay in the "Why I Want An Arabian Horse" essay contest. Open to all Minnesota 4-H members actively involved in the 4-H horse project.

State Horse Project Development Committee

Committee purpose

    1. Oversee the development, planning, promoting and implementation of educational programs
      and events in the area of horse science for Minnesota 4-H youth, their families and leaders.
    2. Stimulate interest in and promote 4-H youth programs with horses through effective communications with all partners - members, families, leaders, staff and other partners.

Member qualifications

    1. Have a strong desire to nurture positive youth development utilizing research-based youth
      development principles in horse subject matter resources.
    2. Be familiar with and understand project materials and forms available in the horse project.
    3. Ability to effectively communicate with individuals and groups.
    4. Be familiar with and understand how strong committees work and be willing to implement those guiding principles.

Member responsibilities

  • Represent opinions and needs of 4-H Horse Project members in your Region by planning and hosting your Regional horse project meeting following each project development committee meeting.
  • Actively participate at each project development committee meeting during your term where the following items will be discussed.
  • Serve as a liaison between Extension staff, members, parents and other volunteers regarding the 4-H Horse Program.
  • Promote the 4-H Horse Project. Assist with Horse Project training for 4-H Horse Project members and leaders.
  • Assist with statewide Horse Project activities.
  • Support and evaluate State Level member and leader educational events.
  • Develop programs to recognize outstanding members and leaders. Be willing to accept a minimum of one committee assignment in one of the following areas:
    • Educational Materials
    • Volunteer Training and Recognition
    • Youth Education and Recognition
    • Communications
    • State 4-H Horse Show
    • Team/Individual Contests
    • Program Development and Promotion
    • Judges Certification and Education
    • Horse Training Program
    • Marketing and Resource Development

Horse PDC member contacts

Horse PDC committee chairs

Horse PDC application

Horse PDC job description

Horse PDC bylaws

Horse PDC committee structure

State PDC meeting minutes Dec 2017

State PDC meeting minutes Nov 2017

State PDC working meeting minutes May 2017

State PDC meeting minutes Feb 2017

State PDC meeting minutes Nov 2016

State PDC meeting minutes May 2016

State PDC meeting minutes Feb 2016

Horse resource library

The Minnesota 4-H Horse Project maintains a lending library of horse-related material. This library has been established and built through funding from the Minnesota Horse Council, memorials, and donations. More than 400 books and videos are available.



Book List


DVD list

Complete video list which includes DVD's and VHS


To order, complete the Library Request Form.

Shipping and handling is the only cost. A deposit is required to cover shipping and potential late fees. Make deposit checks out to the Minnesota 4-H Horse Association Library. You need not be a member of 4-H to order.

Shipping & Handling  $3 per video or book
Rush  $2 per order - Priority Mail
Deposit  $60 per video, book or game
Late fee  $0.20 per day per item, to be deducted from the deposit check

The deposit must be received before items are shipped. Upon request, the balance will be refunded once the items have been returned. If not requested, we'll keep the deposit for future orders.

E-mail Jackie before you order to verify the availability of any item. If you do not, please be sure to include at least one alternate title.

Interlibrary loan

Many of the books listed in the catalog are available at your Minnesota local library. If they are not, they use a process called Interlibrary Loan that can get you the book without giving a deposit. The state of Minnesota facilitates this process online using MnLink, is a search engine that looks at library catalogs throughout the state. Find this search engine on your local library's website or MnLINK Gateway: Basic Search.

You must have a current library card from a Minnesota library system, with no fines against it. Once you find the book you want, request it using the "get it" button, the book will be sent to your local library for you to pick up.

Search hints: An ISBN search works best. To do a title search, put it between quotation marks and search as a phrase. If the process does not work for you, your local library should be able to assist you.


Jackie Schulz, Minnesota 4-H horse librarian
16956 127th St. SE
Becker, Mn 55308


EMAIL LIST: The email list is an email response program operated by the University of Minnesota. It allows people interested in the 4-H Horse Project to exchange ideas, methods and opinions. It broadcasts e-mails to all list subscribers. Request list subscription


To get involved with the 4-H Horse Project, contact your county 4-H office.

Renee Kostick, Extension educator

All resources on this page have been reviewed by our faculty and included for their educational value. No endorsement is intended or implied. Minnesota 4-H does not profit from the inclusion of any commercial project resources.

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